A man has been jailed for four weeks for traveling from Scotland to the Isle of Man on a jet ski to see his girlfriend during a lockdown.
Dale McLaughlan, 28, from North Ayrshire in Scotland, broke coronavirus restrictions by making the four-and-a-half-hour sea journey from his home in the Isle of Whithorn, to Ramsey on the Isle of Man.
McLaughlan, who had never ridden on a jet ski before he made the trip, admitted in Douglas Courthouse that he had arrived on the island unlawfully.
Under current lockdown restrictions, anyone who doesn’t live on the Isle of Man must have a special permit before they are allowed to visit the island, however, the 28-year-old arrived on December 11, without a permit.
According to BBC News, McLaughlan said he had previously been given permission to enter the island in September for four weeks, so he could carry out some work as a roofer. He isolated for 14 days and went on a night out, which is where he met his girlfriend.
After returning to Scotland, he made several more attempts to legally return to the island to see his girlfriend, however, they were all rejected, prompting the tradesman to make the unlawful journey across the Irish Sea.
When he arrived at Ramsay at around 1 pm, McLaughlan then walked 15 miles to his girlfriend’s home in Douglas. The next day, police arrived at the address, and then he claimed that he also lived in the home.
The very same day, both McLaughlan and his girlfriend, who had only been living on the island for a short time, went to two packed nightclubs, breaking further COVID-19 restrictions.
He has since been sentenced to four weeks in prison.
“He was supposed to be going over for work but as far as I know they put it off till January 11. I didn’t even know about the jet ski. I just don’t know why he did it – he could have killed himself,” Allison said, McLaughlan’s mother. “He’ll be missing his kids over Christmas.”
McLaughlan told the court he had been suffering from depression, which is what led to him ‘carefully planning’ his unlawful journey to see his girlfriend.